Maria Farrugia is a Gozitan footballer who plays as an international forward for Sunderland Ladies FC in the UK. She has been capped for the Malta national team, appearing during the UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 qualifying cycle, appeared on the Ultimate Goal sports programme on BTSport 3 and she is only twenty-one.
We asked Għasri-born Maria to be part of the GITH Woman campaign for obvious reasons. Not only is she a young international superstar, but she is also walking her own path and more importantly, playing an important role in women’s football for Malta. She was one of the first graduates of the National Sports School and signed with Sunderland just over two years ago. Since then she has been going from strength to strength on and off the pitch whilst studying for her degree in Sports Science.
She is flying the flag for ladies worldwide, and infuriated by Gender discrimination in football.
Her answers to the questions below give us fascinating insight into this young sportswoman, her winning mentality, and her dedication that will no doubt see her scoring and overcoming goal after goal for years to come.
What drives you to do what you do?
I think my main motivation is that I want to improve myself continuously.
What or who inspires you?
People like Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi were always the ones that inspired me since I was young. I admire their dedication and determination they have shown throughout all these years and also the fact they always remained humble even after winning the most prestigious awards and the work they do off the pitch.
What keeps you sane?
I started playing football since I was very young so basically football is part of my life and it helps me in my everyday life to cope with everything.
What are you most proud of?
Probably when I scored the first two goals for Malta against Montenegro (Under 17) and when I scored the first goal for Malta Women`s National team against ISRAEL in the EURO Qualifiers and made history. Also another big achievement was to go and play abroad with a good team when I was 16 years old since it was always my dream.
What has been one of your biggest lessons so far?
Probably when I was 16 years old and moved to the UK to play football at a higher level to further improve my talent whilst also continuing my studies. I had to learn to cook, do the laundry etc but on the positive side of things living abroad helped me be more independent.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Although I am still very young, I would tell myself as I always did, to no matter what, if you belief in yourself, work hard and never give up, you can achieve anything.
What’s your tip for life-work balance?
It is important to practice good time management by making a well-planned schedule and set goals.
What general advice would you give to a woman who wants to start her own business?
Believe in yourself and you will be believed. Work hard and you will be noticed. Speak your mind and you will be answered. If you don’t like something then change it and if you can’t change it accept it and change your attitude.
The Takeaway. Be inspired by Maria’s energy and motivation for her sport. Champion her winning spirit and celebrate her young achievements.
This is one of the ways Maria shows up in the world: Malta Womens National Football